We will all have a very special occasion that we have to dress for, and some of us  will have lots of special occasions when we know all the eyes will be on what we are wearing. Research tells us that lots of judgments our made about us, just from our appearance. Hence getting it right on the big occasions is important. These tips will act as a useful aide memoir.

Planning: Start planning as soon as you know about the event. Keeping a notebook of information and ideas can be invaluable. Get into the mindset that you are going to be a ‘wow’ on this occasion and this will help you to approach the whole event with confidence and enjoyment rather than fear and trepidation.

Research: Find out as much as you can about the occasion, this is true whatever the occasion, whether you are a speaker to a large group, a potential award winner, partner to the speaker or mother of the bride. Finding out about the venue, about others who will be with you and what has happened in previous similar situations will all be useful background. Ensure you know the type of dress that is required; formal, long dress, business, smart casual etc and if in doubt it is always better to dress up rather than down. It is also helpful to know if you will be standing, sitting or both.

Style: Once you know more about the event you can start thinking about yourself. Consider the style of dress that you like. For example if the occasion is formal and demands a long dress and your normal style of dress is classic/chic then going for something with lots of frills will not be ‘you’ and you are not likely to be at all comfortable or confident. If you are unsure of your style personality this is something that an image consultant can help you with.

Colour: Consider your best colours particularly the ones you will wear near your face. Again, don’t be tempted to go for a black dress if you have light colouring and never normally wear black. Wearing colours that suit your own colouring will give you much more confidence.

Body Shape: By knowing your body shape, scale and proportions you will be able to choose clothing that flatters you, plays to your assets and disguises those areas that you may not want to draw attention to. Remember all eyes will be on you and you don’t want to be remembered for the one who wore the dress that was too tight. For example if you are a triangle shape, a very common shape, then a dress which hugs your hips is just going to draw attention here. This can easily be avoided by having a wider hem to the dress which will make the hips look narrower.

Role at the occasion: Along with your clothing (and accessories) work on what you will say. If you are the speaker ensure that you are confident in the content of your presentation, but even if you are the partner of the speaker or the mother of the bride dresses you will be speaking to lots of people. Spend some time on thinking through what you will say, how you will approach people and how you will be able to give a good first impression. Getting the clothes right is important, however the overall image you portray on such an important occasion must not be forgotten.

Practice: Assemble everything you need at least a week before the big occasion. Take yourself to a quiet area and do the nearest you can to a real run through of the whole event. Have your notebook with you and note everything that still needs working on. Keep working on these areas until you are confident. Above all consider your face and general body language; you do need to be looking as if you are enjoying the occasion.

This may seem a lot to think about but the more you work on preparing for big occasions the easier it will be. The important thing is that with thorough preparation you can thoroughly enjoy the event.

Remember if Michelle Obama can wow billions so you can you. If you feel that you need help with making the most of your appearance then consult an image consultant. They have the professional expertise to ensure you make the most of yourself.